Tree Giveaway

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Overview

Lincoln neighborhoods and communities across the U.S. are experiencing a mass tree decline with the removal of ash trees due to the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department analyzed available data and found there are large low to moderate income residential areas in Northeast and Northwest Lincoln that have been hit hard by EAB. The focus of this event is getting trees into the hands of owner-occupied homes where households may not have the disposable income to purchase a private tree.

To help get trees planted in these high need neighborhoods, Lincoln Parks and Recreation has selected Mahoney Park as the site of the 2022 Tree Distribution on Saturday, October 22 at 8 am. Trees will be available for pick up in a drive-thru style event. Trees have been selected because of their suitability to the local climate and information on selecting, planting and maintaining your tree will be available.  A drive through tree planting demonstration will be available in the north parking lot as you leave with your tree.  

Trick or Tree 2022 is funded by grants made available through the Community Tree Recovery through the Arbor Day Foundation, Lincoln Rotary South Club, and Lincoln Parks Foundation.  

Read through the following pages for information about available trees, the give-away event, and planting and caring for your tree. 

     lpfLogo.png     LPR Logo color      Rotary District 5650 Lincoln South Rotary Club Logo   Community Tree Recovery: An Arbor Day Foundation Program     Arbor Day Foundation Logo

 

 

 

  

Available Trees

The trees available for the giveaway are locally grown and well suited for the Eastern Nebraska climate. This year there is a good mix of large and small deciduous trees and evergreens. 


White Pine, Pinus strobus

  • Long-lived needled evergreen that grows 50-80 feet tall and 20-40 feet wide. 
  • Moderate growth rate
  • Full sun to part shade

TREE-white-pine-form.jpg  TREE-white-pine-needle.jpg  TREE-white-pine-fruit.jpg

Images from University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Regional & Community Forestry


Ponderosa Pine, Pinus ponderosa

  • Large conical conifer that grows 60-125 feet tall and 25-30 feet wide
  • Moderate growth rate
  • Full sun (no shade tolerance)

TREES-ponderosa-pine.jpg  TREES-ponderosa-pine-needle.jpg  TREES-ponderosa-pine-fruit.jpg

Images from University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Regional & Community Forestry


Colorado Spruce, Picea pungens

  • Medium pyramidal conifer that grows 30-60 feet tall and 10-20 feet wide
  • Slow to moderate growth rate
  • Full sun
  • Prefers moist conditions

TREES-coloradospruce_1.jpg  TREES-coloradospruce-needle.jpg  TREES-coloradospruce-fruit_1.jpg  TREES-coloradospruce-fruit-_1.jpg

Images from University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Regional & Community Forestry


Black Hills Spruce, Picea glauca 'densata'

  • Hardy evergreen that grows 20 – 40 feet tall and 10-15 feet wide.
  • slow growth rate
  • full sun

TREES-black-hills-spruce-citeADF.jpg  TREES-black-hills-spruceneedle-citeADF.jpg  TREES-black-hills-spruce-fruit-citeADF.jpg

Images from Arbor Day Foundation


Red Oak, Quercus rubra

  • Medium deciduous tree that grows 50-75 tall and 50-75 feet wide
  • Moderate to fast growth rate
  • Full sun

TREES-REDOAK.jpg  TREES-REDOAK-leaf.jpg  TREES-RedOak-fruit.jpg

Images from University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Regional & Community Forestry


Chinkapin Oak, Quercus muehlenbergii

  • Medium deciduous tree that grows 40-60 feet tall and 50-70 feet wide 
  • Slow to moderate growth rate
  • Full sun

TREES-ChinkapinOak.jpg  TREES-ChinkapinOak-leaf.jpg

Images from University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Regional & Community Forestry


Bur Oak, Quercus macrocarpa

  • Large shade tree grows to 60 – 80 feet tall and 60-80 feet wide
  • Fast growth rate
  • Full sun 

TREES-burroak.jpg  TREES-burroak-leaf.jpg  TREES-burroak-fruit.jpg

Images from University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Regional & Community Forestry


Princeton American Elm, Ulmus americana 'Princeton' 

  • Medium deciduous tree that grows 50-70 feet tall and 30-50 feet wide
  • Fast growth rate
  • Full sun
  • Prefers moist conditions

TREES-AmericanElm.jpg  TREES-AmericanElm-lef.jpg TREES-AmericanElm-fruit.jpg

Images from University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Regional & Community Forestry


Black Cherry, Prunus serotina

  • Medium deciduous tree that grows 50 – 80 feet tall and 30-60 feet wide
  • Medium growth rate 
  • Full sun to part shade
  • Prefers moist conditions

TREES-Black-cherry.jpg  TREES-BlackCherry-leaf.jpg  TREES-Black-cherry-fruit.jpg

Images from University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Regional & Community Forestry

Images from Great Plains Nursery


 

Prairie Gold Quaking Aspen, Populus tremuloides

  • Medium deciduous tree that grows 20-50 feet tall and 10-30 feet wide
  • Fast growth rate
  • Full sun to part shade
  • Prefers moist conditions

TREES-Aspen.jpg  TREES-Aspen-leaf.jpg  TREES-Aspen-flower.jpg

Images from University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Regional & Community Forestry


Kentucky Coffeetree, Gymnocladus dioicus

  • Medium deciduous tree that grows 60-80 feet tall and 40-55 feet wide
  • Slow to moderate growth rate
  • Full sun

TREES-coffeetree.jpg  TREES-coffeetree-leaf.jpg  TREES-coffeetree-fruit_1.jpg

Images from University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Regional & Community Forestry


Common Hackberry, Celtis occidentalis

  • Medium deciduous tree that grows 40-60 feet tall and 40-60 feet wide
  • Moderate to fast growth rate
  • Full sun to part shade

TREES-hackberry.jpg   TREES-hackberry-leaf.jpg  TREES-hackberry-flower.jpg  TREES-hackberry-fruit.jpg

Images from University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Regional & Community Forestry


Northern Catalpa, Catalpa speciosa

  • Medium to large deciduous tree that grows 40-70 feet tall and 20-50 feet wide
  • Moderate to fast growth rate
  • Full sun to part shade
  • Prefers moist conditions

TREES-CATALPA.jpg  TREES-CATALPA-leaf.jpg  TREES-CATALPA-fruit.jpg

Images from University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Regional & Community Forestry


Hybrid Chestnut, Castanea dentata x mollissima

  • Medium deciduous tree that grows 50-60 feet tall and 40-50 feet wide
  • Slow to moderate growth rate
  • Full sun

TREES-Hybrid-Chestnut.jpg  TREES-Hybrid-Chestnut-leaf.jpg  TREES-Hybrid-Chestnut-flower.jpg  TREES-Hybrid-Chestnut-fruit.jpg

Images from University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Regional & Community Forestry


Shadblow Serviceberry, Amelanchier canadensis

  • Small deciduous tree that grows 25-30 feet tall and 15-20 feet wide
  • Medium growth rate
  • Full to part shade

TREES-serviceberry.jpeg  TREES-serviceberry-flowers.jpeg  TREES-shadblow-fruit.jpg

 Images from Great Plains Nursery


How to Get a Tree

The tree giveaway at Mahoney Park will begin promptly at 8 a.m., but we recommend arriving early to ensure tree availability. The first 250 cars will receive a tree. Please plan to have a space to hold a 6-foot-tall tree in a 3 gallon container. Trees and containers can be laid gently on their side during transport. This is strictly a drive-thru style event and asks patrons to not leave their vehicle. Staff and volunteers will load trees into your vehicle. There will be an opportunity to park vehicles at the tree planting demonstration site. 

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Step 1. Show up!

Mahoney Park is located at the corner of N 70th and Fremont Streets. Gates will open at 7 a.m.

Step 2. Get in line!

Follow signs for one way traffic and directions from volunteers in yellow vests. Tree giveaway starts at 8 a.m. and lasts until trees are gone.

Step 3. Pick your tree!

Tree Information sheet! Volunteers will hand out an information sheet on trees available inside a swag bag.

Step 4. Stay in your vehicle!

Stay in line, and follow the cars to get a tree in the large parking lot near the ball fields. Volunteers will load them into your car.

Step 5. Planting demonstration!

A tree planting demonstration will be available on the north side parking lot. Staff will be available for questions here as well.

Step 6. Call before you dig!

Before planting your tree, you must file a locate request to ensure that your tree is planted in a safe spot (free of any buried utilities) on your private property. To file a location request online visit www.ne1call.com or dial 811.

Step 7. Plant your tree!

Your tree is ready to plant after you receive a cleared ticket from 811.  Trees should be planted within a few days after receiving your 811 clear ticket. Follow the guide for best tree location that you received in your swag bag. Trees can be planted in the Fall until mid-November before the soil freezes. Please monitor weather and soil forecast to ensure survival of new tree.

Step 8. Care for your Tree!

Water your tree daily and monitor weather.

 

Planting and Caring for your Tree

Tips from the Arbor Day Foundation for planting, pruning and caring for your trees:

Find the best location for your tree with the iTree Design

Mulch is available throughout the year at the following locations:

A volunteer hauls mulch to a recently planted tree.

How to Plant a Tree:

Two children help their parents plant a tree in Mahoney Park.

Step 1. Right tree, right place!

Call 811 at least two days prior to planting your tree. Proper tree selection based on available space is important for tree health and management. Proper tree selection and placement can enhance property value and prevent potential maintenance damage to your property and surrounding utilities.

Step 2. Check your soil!

If too wet, wait for soil to dry out a bit before digging. Soil should be just moist enough to crumble.

Step 3. Dig!

Dig the hole no deeper than the root ball container depth and dig your hole twice as wide as the container width. This helps new roots establish more quickly to let the tree stand at the same level as the surrounding existing soil. The root flare, or bottom of the trunk, should be slightly higher than the surrounding existing soil level.

Step 4. Root preparation!

Slide tree out of the container and untangle roots if they are tightly tangled together. Loosen large roots and tease out smaller ones. The goal is to encourage roots to grow horizontally into the surrounding existing soil.

Step 5. Fill around tree!

Use a rake or small shovel to add soil back to the hole once tree is placed in the center of the hole. Check the root flare to make sure it is at the proper height at ground level. Begin to fill hole and slowly work soil around edges of the root ball. Continue filling until hole is level with the surrounding existing soil and above the root ball.

Step 6. Mulch!

Spread a 2-inch layer of wood chips over the bare ground and root ball leaving a few inches of space around the root flare. Mulching your tree with wood chips or other organic matter helps the tree hold moisture, moderates soil temperature extremes and reduces grass and weed competition.

Step 7. Stake!

Trees should be staked for at least one year to gain stability but is not necessary. Use soft material or padded wire where the support touches the trunk.

Step 8. Water!

Your new tree has been planted and still needs watered in the Winter months, but not as much as if it were planted in the Spring. Trees need water especially when it has been windy or if there have been drought-like conditions. Make sure to monitor weather conditions and keep an eye on your tree health. Slowly soak the ground beneath the tree. Plan on 1 gallon per week per square foot spread of the roots.